Finishing Touches

I’ve been reading all the posts, and it seems that everybody is of the same mind. The unwavering thread is something to the effect that “It’s mine. Just send it to me at the KXYZ airport. I like/hate [take your pick] the paint job but will accept the Crossover Classic without any conditions.” It’s a refrain we hear each year, and which brings a smile to every AOPA staffer’s face. Hey, we’d keep it too, but the sweeps rules won’t let us!

But wait! No one can have it yet! That’s because we’re still making some final tweaks. For example, we’re performing a complete logbook review. All those STCs and other work must be documented properly–and we’re making sure that all is shipshape. We’ve learned from experience that a 20-, 30-, or 40-year-old airplane can have logbooks that leave a lot to be desired. And a lot to the imagination. (The worst is when an airframe or engine logbook is missing.) So this will take a few more days to complete.

Item number two: AmSafe’s seat belt/airbags have yet to be installed. This will take place at Air Mod, located at the Clermont County Airport in Batavia, Ohio (you know, where Sporty’s is located). The two front seats will get the AmSafe belts, and we’re glad about that. AmSafe’s belts are a great safety enhancement.

Item number three: The JP Instruments EDM-930 engine data monitor has been sent back to that company. JPI will change the EDM-930 default settings to show the airplane’s new N-number, plus load the 182’s total airframe and new-engine (the Continental IO-550 installed at Air Plains Services in Wellington, Kansas) times. Now any mechanic can push the 930’s buttons and up will come the correct TTAE (total time, airframe and engine) information.

The EDM-930 is also having its electrical gauges recalibrated. The airplane has a 60-ampere/hour alternator from Plane Power (thanks very much) but the 930 showed red load exceedances when the electrical load hit 32 amps. That threshold is being moved up to reflect the system’s current safe load capacity.

Item number four: Landmark Aviation at our home field–the Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland–has re-rigged the airplane.

Item number five: The leather seats will be cleaned. During an airshow, the seats pick up drool from the curious (just kidding) and grime that sifts out of the sky (not kidding)–and from hundreds of hands caressing the custom, leather-covered seats (thanks Garrett Leather). I was going to say “rich, Corinthian leather,” but that would be over the top. Hey wait, maybe it is Corinthian leather! Where’s Ricardo Montalban when you need him? Anyway, the seats will be cleaned.

So that’s the latest. All these changes will be completed before EAA AirVenture, so you can see them at Oshkosh–which runs from July 25-31. More news as it happens! And be sure to check out the July issue of AOPA Pilot. Your airplane will be on the cover, and the accompanying story will once more list all the project’s many fine contributors.

  • Dick Moran

    As one who must rent to fly, any plane much less this beauty, would be great to have and to fly. Hopefully, someone who does not have access to their own plane and must jump through some hoops to fly, will be considered for the plane.

    • Steve Kruger

      Winning this plane will be like winning the lottery. I love what AOPA has done with this plane.

  • Terry L. Wighs

    Someone is going to be a very fortunate winner…:)

  • Al Engelbrecht

    Whoever wins this versatile classic is going to be the envy of all GA (and most non-GA) pilots…

  • Garrett Leather

    What a great little sweepstakes you’ve got going! We’re so glad we could be apart of the refurbishment!

  • Svend S.

    It is very educational to read about this refurbishment – the winner is very, very lucky person.
    Seems to me that I read in one of the early reports that the airplane had a “heavy wing” when cruising. Was I mistaken or was it fixed? If if was fixed what was done to correct it?

  • Miles Matthews

    I am in love with this airplane. I would love to have it to replace the rental aircraft I use. Thank you for being so meticulous. 182’s have been the aircraft that I have enjoyed flying the most in my career so far.

  • Don Chambers

    Let’s get it over with….just bring the airplane to me now!

  • Philip Clifton

    Well, I’ll just go with the flow on the comments… I can’t wait to see this lovely plane land here at PDK when I take delivery of it. I can’t wait until I don’t have to rent every time I want to fly. 😀

    Seriously, I’ve been following the build with great interest; it’s been fascinating. Someone is going to end up with a really, really great plane. Hopefully me.

  • Sean Garrett

    Sure is turning out to be a great plane. Whoever gets it, I really hope they decide to cherish it and take extremely good care of it. Most of us watching this plane’s progress are renters who can only dream of owning our own just due to the initial sticker shock. Unfortunately, we all know those rental planes are beat and trashed by other people who may or may not care who is flying it next and we all dream about owning a plane of our own so we could treat it like it should be treated.

    Thanks AOPA for putting this together each year and giving us a possible chance at having that dream come true.

  • Capt Al Blakely CD

    Thanks AOPA for the dream of owning this plane, but it will never come to Canada.

    • Tom Haines

      Capt. Al,
      Canadian members outside of Quebec are eligible to win. Unfortunately, Quebec sweeps laws don’t make it practical for us to allow members there to be eligible. Best of luck!

  • Tom Bowden

    THAT is a plane I could travel the US in. I enter every year with my automatic renewal of my AOPA membership. I hope this is the year I win.

  • Rich DeMarco

    Hands off boys and girls! It’s MINE !!!

  • Mark Blackwell

    I feel like a kid again, standing in the hot sun, shaking out the Cracker Jack’s, waiting for the prize to fall into my hands. We should all feel blessed to be a part of an association that promotes aviation with such a wonderful project. Thank you AOPA!

  • Tom Brown

    It is a beautiful plane. What frustrates me is the number of ‘rotting’ planes I see at airports, with flat tires, bees nesting in the interior, and paint fading. Why are these planes sitting here decaying in front of us when so many of us would love to own and fly them? They’re certainly not worth much when they are falling apart. If you aren’t interested in flying any more, sell the plane at a reasonable price to someone who would take care of it.

    • Bob Siguaw

      I absolutely agree with your statement. Since returning to aviation after a very long absence this was my very first observation. I now fly around airports photographing sitting derelicts. I hope to build a database of these planes to connect future owners. During my absence aviation enthusiasm has obviously declined. Individuals and families need to refocus their personal finances and “be more responsible”. Aviation has something for the entire family.

  • Mike Finkle

    While I would love to have been the lucky winner of any of the AOPA “Sweepstakes Aircraft” over the years, this 182 is absolutely the one at the top of my personal list EVER.

    I’m sure it won’t become mine, as I’m one of those folks who never wins anything, but it’s nice to dream about it nevertheless. Sitting in it at last year’s big event in Long Beach, after having not much more than the engine replacement done at the time, definitely had me thinking about “what if…?”.

    Thanks to our GREAT organization, and all of the great aviation equipment merchants who participate in these projects, for making it possible for at least ONE of us to live that dream!!!

  • http://AOPA Pablo

    I know that people with money will win, I am a sport pilot an I would change it for an LSA. And continue my dream

  • Jeff Schell

    I see you wrote @ KXYZ for the airport, well my home airport is KMYZ so it would be easy to write that as the winner’s home airport. My Dad used to build B-17’s during WWII in Wichita. Bring it home to Kansas!!

  • David Harrington

    Wasn’t this plane painted at KRUQ? That’s where I am going to be training. Please, send it home!!! I will put it to really good use!!!

  • Glen

    My kids keep saying I am going to win this airplane. I hope they’re right. I love reading the updates and can’t wait to take the kids up for a ride in it when I get that call. Thanks AOPA for all the great work.

  • http://AOPA Mark Benefiel

    A 182 is a 182. But wait, this one has more horses running out in front! So, does it have better than 1000fpm climb rate?! It also has a glass cockpit! Wow, we are quibbling about a paint job?! Give me the keys. I will proudly display it all over this country. What a courgeous plane. Thank you all for a great privilege to even have the possibility to own an aircraft and a brand new one at that!! I love this airplane.

  • Mark Keneston

    Yup, park it right at 5B2 Saratoga,NY just 5 minutes from the house and no more Renting & Schedules. Can’t wait to see it in person and hold the keys myself. The Surprise is the best part. You guys have always done a great job. This is going to be great. 1st flight is to ME

  • Jeff Handwerk

    Hmmm….Just think if I would win the contest, AOPA would not have to go very for to give me the keys. I only live about 3 miles away!!

  • Hugh Jones

    Seems like everyone is wrong… its Me that will get the keys ! Just drop them at KIYK – out in the desert please !
    Seriously, this is one heck of a project. Perfect choice of aircraft, especially for the larger members amongst us! ! Well done AOPA !

  • Michael Sundstrom

    Anyone would be thrilled to death to win this beauty! Bring it on home to KDTO please!

    C172 Pilot who could upgrade, no really I could!

  • Rich Carpenter

    I’ve been following the retrofit and upgrade of the Cessna 182 you are about to give away with a lot of enthusiasm. As a student pilot who is quickly approaching the end of his initial pilot training — and hoping to have his Private Pilot Certificate shortly — I have been picturing in my mind purchasing an older airplane and refitting it. I’ve even got my wife “mostly” on board with the idea. Her only requirement is that it have at least 4 seats so there is room for the kids.

    That’s not to say, however, I wouldn’t be happy if AOPA were to call and say that I was the winner of this amazing machine. It would have a great home flying into and out of KFRR.

  • Mark Hyland

    How much does it cost to install AMSAFE seatbelt/ airbags in a plane as a retrofit for two seats?

  • Amy

    I would faint if I got it. However, if I did, I would probably sell it to one of you guys or gals that I truly believe would care for it. Then I’d buy the nicest Beechcraft Skipper I could find. My Dream Airplane. I might could buy two for the price this plane looks like it would bring!!! :)

  • Christian

    I promise with the money saved by winning it I will put this baby to bed every night in a warm cozy hanger and let AOPA come visit the plane anytime. I will see you all in Hartford so I’m there when they announce my name as the WINNER!! Regardless this is an awesome contest…

  • Leslie Lees

    WOW WOW WOW… you all are amazing… what a beauty she is and who ever the winner is, will be extreemly fortunate! How I would love to be the Lucky Lady! I consider myself fortunate to be able to simply rent an aircraft to fly! Thank you AOPA for all you do for the community of Aviation!

  • Jesse

    What a pretty plane. I wish I could say drop her off because she’s mine 😉 I hope to see her at EAA, and hopefully win her because she would make a great first trip plane for my family.

  • Jeff Minnick

    Boy dont i wish i could be the winner… that would be one of the nicest GA planes here at 6D6

  • Ross

    This would be an awesome win. Fingers and toes crossed figuratively. This would certainly assist in my goal of becoming a CFI.

  • David

    “I want this Plane, I want this Plane, I want this Plane.” Enough said!

  • Jon

    When I fly in my Dreams its in this aircraft! It’s the perfect plane for taking friends family and potential aviation enthusiasts up for a sunday flight. I love everything they’ve done, from avionics to paint scheme.

  • Robert Ellenberger


  • Lynette Penny

    Following a devastating farming accident over 20 years ago, leaving my husband with one hand and loosing part of a leg, he took up flying and has been a member of AOPA since 2003! Amazingly he has logged over 450 hours in his Skylane. Unfortunately last Tuesday we had a tornado come through our small rural town in Colorado, and his Skylane was lost. This would be such a blessing for him to be able to continue his dream in such a beautiful airplane. I could only pray that he would be the winner!!!

    • Turbo 182

      I’m pulling for him as the owner of a 182

  • HG

    OK, folks. I PROMISE to give everyone a ride when I win. 😀

  • Todd

    Nice plane! The pane is perfect for my upcoming IFR training – which I hope to start around the end of September!

  • Turbo 182

    As the owner of a 2008 Turbo 182, i can tell you that in the 500 plus hours put on the plane, i can’t recall a non pleasure flight. The plane handles great and the veratility is amazing. This past month, landed at a short field (3,000 ft elevation) , a grass field (50 ft in width), and at Dulles airport in D.C. Got my CFI and CFII ratings in the plane as well. have shot approaches to mins in solid imc using the GFC 700 ap. Incredibly stable. The winner will be v. lucky. Just hope he /she gets transition training as trim is def a major req (esp. on landing). Good luck, and if i am the lucky winner-will put to use as a trainer.

  • flying frenchman

    Here is a thought after reading many of the comments about the sweepstake airplane. Wouldn’t it be nice if more than one person were to win the same airplane? This could be a twofold sweepstake. First you pull out of the hat the location the airplane will be living then you pull out, say, four names of the winners in that area that could be a part owner of the plane at the same airport. For example, you randomly select Arlington, Texas Municipal Airport as the location and then you randomly select four members within 25 miles who have signed up for the contest. Then you set up a standard partnership arrangement for the four individuals. And finally, to get things started with the partnership, you provide $5,000 seed money to get their flying off the ground.

    I know that is more complicated than the current sweepstakes, but it certainly could impact more members per airplane giveaway. Any thoughts about my idea?

  • Dan

    What if I win it and can’t afford to put gas in the thing? Or to maintain it even? Oh, that’s right.. you need to make a million dollars a year and sell your house to fly your own plane these days.

  • George

    OK, AOPA, here’s the deal. I win this one, and then I’ll donate my 182P to AOPA, for next year’s refuburshment! Win-win, right?! I can only dream of making my 182 as nice as you have done up this one. Excellent job and I’ve enjoyed the articles along the way.

  • Bob Siguaw

    I’ve been absent from aviation for over thirty years. Joining AOPA was my first move back and after discovering AOPA’s annual plane giveaway I’m happy I joined. What a great idea!
    I never win in drawings but it is still exciting to see that someone else does. I hope the new owner is a worthy owner. These planes should be listed as collectors and valued as such. Great job AOPA!

  • Bob Siguaw

    This FYI is off topic but everyone needs to know about it. Due to finances I had to leave aviation thirty one years ago. You all know the story, I had a family to raise and money was tight. When I returned I constantly had the cart ahead of the proverbial horse. I rented a hanger, bought a plane and “then” scheduled a visit with an AME. Oops! I quickly learned jumping up and down on one foot and having a heartbeat was not longer the required norm for passing a third class medical. On my initial medical application I did what most of you no doubt do and that is be painfully honest. In hindsight I would still be the honest individual but learned that honesty to your AME can be a curse. I have had a head injury, high BP and am technically Diabetic. However, after my local AME told me it was “very” doubtful I would receive my medical I hit the net and researched all I could about the new rules and regulations. Honestly, it scared the crap out of me. There is so much negativity out there that it was difficult to not just say screw it and give up. Sorry, I hate to lose. I don’t believe the intention of the FAA is to ground you. There job is though to keep the skies safe. I did get my medical. It is a special issuance but I did get it all the same. In the end I discovered that they are interested in serious people. People who do their best to correct or at least attempt control their medical conditions. They are not as much interested in what you are about at any given moment in time as they are about the bigger plan. I take meds to control my BP and Diabetes. They just want documentation showing that I am serious about my own health. Even the Diabetes isn’t a problem as long as you can demonstrate that you are controlling the disease, not the opposite. Take care of yourself. Fly till you die is my motto. :)